Go bonkers for baking
The popularity of baking programmes like the Great British Bake Off has turned us into a nation of baking obsessives. We’re baking (and eating) more eclairs, tarts, breads, pies and cakes than ever before.
Why not capitalise on baking’s popularity by hosting your own baking competition, or an old-fashioned bake sale? You don’t have to be a skilled baker, just some simple recipes for favourites like Victoria Sandwich and flapjacks will draw in the crowds and have them emptying their wallets in no time.
After months of overindulgence at Christmas, most of us have good intentions when it comes to exercising. But doing a race for charity is a great way to motivate yourself while collecting money for a good cause.
Try to do something that will challenge you. If you’re a regular 10k runner, why not push yourself to go for a half marathon? To raise as much as possible, up the ante by adding an extra element of difficulty. Do a race in high heels (that applies to the boys too!), dress up in character or have an extended version of an egg and spoon race over several miles. If you’re lucky, you might even get coverage from your local paper if your stunt is unique enough.
Running tends to be the most popular fundraising sport, but you can do anything from a danceathon (being sponsored for every hour of dancing you can manage) or a sponsored swim.
Use social media
Social media can really amplify your fundraising efforts. Top ideas include:
- Starting a blog to chronicle your fundraising stories (remember to include lots of blog-friendly photos)
- Getting your friends involved by sharing your photos and your passion for your chosen charity on Twitter and Facebook. And remember to ask for a retweet or share too so you can get your message out to their friends outside your network.
- Planning an event? Start a Facebook event to round everyone up!
- Auction night: gather together a group of willing volunteers and have an auction of services’ for things like a date an hour of cleaning or anything they can contribute.
Think about what people would pay good money to see. In most cases, this would involve you doing something embarrassing (like shaving off all your hair or wearing an onesie to work for the day) or giving up something everybody knows you love.
If you enjoy a good natter, why not have a sponsored silence? If you can’t exist without your five cups of coffee a day, take the plunge and give it up for charity. And you can plough all the money you save back into your fundraising pot as an added bonus!
Get your workplace involved
Lots of workplaces support charities as part of their corporate social responsibility policy. They may have chosen a particular charity already, but it’s worth asking if they would like to make a contribution, support you by letting you hold a bake sale at work (who would say no to cake?) or promoting your campaign by sending an email round to everyone. You don’t get if you don’t ask.
Take a deep breath and sign up for a charity skydive or an adrenalin-fuelled bungee jump. Fundraisers in America, including a local radio DJ, made the papers after taking part in a group dive into freezing waters dressed up in various costumes could you be as brave?
People will see the lengths you’re going to for your charity and are usually very happy to donate something.
You might wonder how shopping classifies as a fundraising activity, but bear with us. Even if your favourite charity doesn’t have its own official charity shop, you can raise money with the easyfundraising website, who will donate a percentage of everything you buy.
Host an event
If event planning is your forte, you could try one of these ideas:
- A clothes swap: everyone brings along clothes they want to give away and swaps them for something they want. Give it a party atmosphere with snacks and music and make money by charging entry (remember to blag as many free favours from people as you can).
- A raffle, with a prize donated by local businesses or made by you and your friends.
- A wine tasting evening hosted with bottles donated by your local supermarket.
- A themed party night: anything from a 90s flashback dance to a pyjama party would work well.
The sky’s the limit really, and the more creative and fun your event, the more you’ll raise.
Have you got any great fundraising ideas to share?